Caring Colin's bike giveaway for kids in need

A Shropshire cycling enthusiast has launched a scheme to give away revamped bicycles to youngsters in families hard hit by the pandemic.

Colin Davies, of St Georges, Telford, has set up (launched April 2021), a scheme called Bikes 4 Kids in which people donate old bicycles and he does them up and gives them away to youngsters whose families have been hard hit by the pandemic. His number: 07920 804674. He is pictured working on one of the bikes..
Colin Davies, of St Georges, Telford, has set up (launched April 2021), a scheme called Bikes 4 Kids in which people donate old bicycles and he does them up and gives them away to youngsters whose families have been hard hit by the pandemic. His number: 07920 804674. He is pictured working on one of the bikes..

Colin Davies, of St Georges in Telford, runs Bikes 4 Kids and has already handed out around 200 bikes which he has done up.

"I started at the beginning of April. With the pandemic, everybody was in lockdown and money was tight – and still is," said Colin, who himself took up cycling to keep fit following an operation to bring down his weight from 33 stone.

He was already doing his bit, such as by collecting food for food banks, but wondered what else he could do, and got his inspiration when he went to the recycling centre at Hortonwood and noticed bicycles there.

"It got me thinking. I had a couple of spare bikes in the garden, and I thought I ought to give them away to some kids who haven't got them. I created a Facebook page to try to give them away and these bikes were snapped up within minutes.

"That gave me the idea. I started advertising on Facebook for scrap bikes and got swamped in a matter of hours with people donating bikes, and people needing bikes. It took off from there.

"Sometimes the donated bikes are in excellent condition. Sometimes they are more or less scrap and have to be restored. I restore them and post them on the Facebook page. I either deliver them, or people collect them.

"I don't ask for money for these bikes, but if somebody wants to make a donation and are in a position to do so, I will accept a donation, which helps in buying spare parts."

The Bikes 4 Kids page on Facebook

For logistical reasons the scheme is mainly for Telford area.

"We have had people from all walks of life. It's really humbling. People are finding it tough at the moment with the pandemic. I have also given a lot of bikes to people who have been furloughed or laid off and are going back to work.

"People see people with nice homes and assume they don't need help, but I had a guy who appeared to me to be quite well off, and I wondered if he was abusing my generosity, but he was self employed and had had no work for 12 months and was really struggling, so I was glad to give him a bike, which I think was for his daughter's birthday."

Colin is turning over between five and 20 bikes a week.

"I started on April 4 and at the last count the total was 150, and I think I'm now up to 200 which I have donated."

He either collects the bikes which come in, or people drop them off. Quite often they are bikes which have languished unused in sheds for years.

"I have had some amazing reactions. One girl from Woodside had a son who was just turning 11 and she wanted a bike for his birthday. I found her this BMX and got it looking almost new and delivered it, and she was almost in tears. A few weeks later on her son's birthday she sent me a picture of the little boy on his bike."

As to what Colin gets from it, he says: "Satisfaction, I suppose. I just like to help."

Things have not been easy for him either. The 46-year-old was once the manager of a security firm but has had to give up work to care for his wife who has health issues.

"That was my motivation, along with that I had bariatric surgery to lose weight, which made me want to give something back, having had this opportunity given to me by the NHS. I had lost all this weight and on top of that being at home caring for my wife meant I had a lot of spare time. It's being able to help people, I suppose, along with working with bikes, which I really enjoy.

"Me and my kids are all keen cyclists. I used to be 33 stone and am just under 20 now. That's why I started cycling just over 12 months ago. I had all this extra energy and wanted to stay fit.

"Me and my 17-year-old daughter Lara are doing a virtual 874 mile bike ride for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), the men's suicide charity. We are doing it around Shropshire, riding the distance from Land's End to John o'Groats."

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